Tuesday Buffet: Kalispell Budget Woes, State of GNP, Wedding on Wings

By Beacon Staff

Good morning. Happy birthday to former President Bill Clinton who turns 62 today.

On the Beacon this morning, the Kalispell City Council decided against creating a controversial fee system for the city’s parks and recreation department last night, instead opting to put the decision on the ballot in November. But now, roughly $500,000 of the annual budget for the Parks and Recreation department must go back into the city’s general fund, forcing even bigger budget cuts – and leaving city employees nervous that layoffs loom in the future. In other news, Montana has benefited immensely from federal free trade agreements, with its number of exports growing at nearly the highest rate in the nation. And the search continues for a 70-year-old Big Fork-area man who disappeared Friday while swimming in Flathead Lake.

Glacier National Park’s visitor totals and infrastructure needs are increasing, while funding continues to plateau. Private partnerships, though, will help fund some upgrades. State Sen. Sam Kitzenberg of Glasgow, who lost the Democratic primary in June for state superintendent of schools, is now running as a write-in candidate for state House District 35 in northeastern Montana. And Great Falls native Mike Zadick advanced to the Olympic bronze-medal bracket in wrestling, but lost to Bazar Bazarguruev of Krygyzstan 1-0, 1-0 and was eliminated.

And a British couple had their wedding on a wing. Bride Katie Hodgson and groom Darren McWalters tied the knot while standing on top of biplanes. Have a happy Tuesday, folks.